Thanks to China’s media, as well as General Motors’ aggressive pursuit of new buyers in that populous, prestige-seeking country, we’ve already seen the facelifted 2018 XTS sedan. The Chinese market model appeared a month ago, powered by a downsized motor you won’t find in U.S. variants.
Despite this, the refreshed XTS is now official. Cadillac has released details and photos of a model that wasn’t supposed to have a second actÂ â€” until it realized you don’t drop a vehicle with steady sales, no matter how outdated it may appear. Say hello to Cadillac’s front-drive full-sizer, now gussied up to look like Cadillac’s rear-drive full-sizer.
For 2018, the XTS dispenses with the previous model’s swept-back face and headlights, adopting a more upright grille reminiscent of the newer CT6 and Y-shaped LED headlamps. The game of dressup continues with vertical LED running lights flanking its new face and a badge adorning the front fender. More chrome trim appears in the remolded lower fascia.
All of these changes amount to a car that’s 1.1 inches shorter than before.
While there’s nothing new about the model’s flanks, the sharp character line now flows into L-shaped LED taillights and a newly sculpted trunklid. You won’t mistake it for a CT6. Still, Cadillac models need to toe the company design line, especially if they’ve been granted a last-minute stay of execution. The automaker had planned to discontinue the XTS following the CT6’s launch, but strong sales of the old model swayed Cadillac brass.
Inside the XTS, Cadillac promises more comfort â€” both for your ears and backside. Increased use of sound insulation and new tire designs should make for a quieter cabin, while your derriÃ¨re will apparently rejoice at the prospect of “changes to seat foam geometry, wire frame structure and heat pad redesign.” Revolutionary changes these are not.
Tech-savvy owners will note the adoption of Cadillac’s cloud-based user experience system, which groups together key applications on one screen. Want to add apps? Fancy some connected navigation? Eager to personalize any number of infotainment settings? Cadillac makes it possible, though just how tech-savvy the non-livery buyers of this traditional sedan might be remains a big question mark. At least the updated CUE interface is designed to be easier to operate.
Whether owners know it’s there or not, Cadillac’s suite of driver aids now includes low-speed automatic braking and lane change alert (with the Driver Awareness Package) and forward/reverse automatic braking and adaptive cruise control (with the Driver Assist Package).
As before, buyers can choose between a standard 3.6-liter V6 making 304 horsepower and 264 lb-ft of torque, with optional all-wheel drive and Magnetic Ride Control for those concerned about handling limits. The V-Sport model returns, boasting a twin-turbocharged version of the 3.6. Count on that mill to generate 410 horses and 269 lb-ft. As before, a six-speed automatic remains the sole transmission.
New 19- and 20-inch wheel choices and interior trim patterns and colors round out the menu of choices for XTS buyers. The automaker hasn’t released pricing, preferring to wait until closer to the official launch later this year.
[Images: General Motors]